Update from your Member of Provincial Parliament regarding COVID-19
As we start to jumpstart our economy we need to remember to always follow the latest advice from Ottawa Public Health and the Ministry of Health. With many local businesses reopening I want to encourage everyone to shop local. A full list of services that were allowed to open can be found here.
School’s out! (until September)
On Tuesday, the minister of education announced that they are keeping schools closed for the rest of this school year. Private schools, licensed child care centres and EarlyON programs will also remain closed. Online summer classes will still be available.
OSAP applications now open for 2020-2021 school year
On Wednesday, the Ontario government opened up applications for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for the 2020-21 school year. For many students, the loans they receive from OSAP are their first major financial commitment. To support a greater understanding of the program and the responsibilities as an OSAP recipient, applicants will be required to complete an information module that highlights basic information about the student assistance program and financial literacy.
The interprovincial checkpoint between Ottawa and Gatineau has been lifted! On Monday the government of Quebec removed its checkpoint but noted the importance of minimising non essential travel.
To protect yourself, other riders and transit staff, the Ministry of Health has recommended the implementation of these new measures for to transportation agencies :
- Physical distancing of at least two metres by admitting fewer passengers and using physical markers between seats;
- The use of face coverings, particularly when physical distancing is not feasible;
- Ensuring the availability of alcohol-based hand rub upon entering and exiting the vehicle;
- Implementing engineering controls like plexiglass windows between drivers and passengers; and
- Enhanced cleaning, particularly of high-touch surfaces.
All Canadians continue to be legally required to self-isolate for 14 days when returning home from international travel.
The Ministry of Health has recently updated their face covering recommendations, here is the latest information :
- Wear your face covering safely and snugly to cover your nose and mouth, without any gaps. Ensure your face covering is made of at least two layers of tightly woven material and can be cleaned multiple times without losing its shape;
- Medical masks, such as surgical and N95 masks, should be reserved for use by health care workers, those providing direct care, first responders and individuals who are ill and must leave their home for essential reasons such as seeking medical care, picking up medication or groceries;
- Face coverings should not be placed on or used by children under the age of two; anyone who has trouble breathing; and anyone who is unable to remove it without assistance.
Ontario Health Workforce Matching Portal
A couple of weeks ago we pushed for the government to call on foreign trained healthcare professionals to contribute and help out on the frontlines. The government has implemented the Workforce Matching Portal and so far 1,374 applications from health professionals have been received and candidates were identified for redeployment wherever needed in the province.
Mental Health and Counselling
Regardless of how old you are, this pandemic is most likely affecting your mental health. It’s okay not to be okay. If you need help to talk to someone or need counselling, Walk-in Counselling is there to help. They can be reached at 613-755-2277 or on their website www.walkincounselling.com
As always, thank you for doing your part in fighting COVID-19. My team remains available to help. Please feel free to give us a call at 613-744-4484 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lucille Collard, MPP